07/30/2015TURKEY – SYRIA – IRAQ Erdogan’s ambiguous policy and the beginning of the Turkish (and Kurdish) tragedy by NAT da Polis Air strikes against IS in Syria and PKK targets in northern Iraq are a last ditch attempt to save Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman policies. A great game is being played out in the Middle East to redesign the borders between Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. The United States also seems to be using IS. The Incirlik air bases is part of the bargaining between Washington and Ankara. Istanbul (AsiaNews) – Turkey seems to have started a two-front war: one against the Islamic State (IS) group and one against the Kurds, opening itself up to a political situation with...
07/29/2015TURKEY – IRAQ – UNITED STATES Ankara using anti-Jihadi campaign to fight Kurdish autonomist desires Erdogan is really worried about the possible declaration of a Kurdish state. The president, who is probably thinking about early elections, claims that some lawmakers from the Kurdish-based HDP party have links to Kurdish terrorists in the PKK. The HDP’s success at the polls in June prevented the ruling party from having an absolute majority. Turkey and the United States confirmed their intention of creating a 90-km long "IS-free zone" inside Syria.
07/29/2015ISRAEL-USA Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard will be released by the US in November by Joshua Lapide The 60-year-old analyst from Texas, son from Jewish parents, transferred volumes of sensitive information to Israel. Accused of espionage, in 1985 sought refuge in the Israeli Emabssy, but was rejected. In '96, Tel Aviv granted him the Israeli citizenship and admitted that he was a spy on their payroll. He will remain in the US for five years on probation. No link with the Iran-US nuclear accord.
07/28/2015SAUDI ARABIA Second Saudi execution after Ramadan The man executed was a hashish trafficker. No executions took place during the holy month. In the first seven months of 2015, the Saudi kingdom carried out 104 executions. In 2014, 84 took place.
07/27/2015TURKEY – SYRIA – IRAQ Ankara changing strategy vis-à-vis the Islamic state and the Kurds at NATO meeting by Sami Osman Tomorrow’ "emergency meeting" is set for Ankara with all NATO representatives. Yesterday Turkish jets carried out air strikes against PKK bases north of Dohuk and Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey wants to ensure that no autonomous Kurdish region emerges in Syria. Clashes occur in Istanbul and Diyarbakir.
07/27/2015ISRAEL – PALESTINE After yesterday's clashes in Jerusalem, Palestinian dies today trying to escape arrest The young man, 18, was wounded in the leg, and fell as he tried to leap from one roof to another. Yesterday's clashes were caused by an attempt by ultra-Orthodox Jews to commemorate Tisha B'av, a day of remembrance for the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, on the Esplanade of the Mosques, where, according to Jewish tradition the temples once stood.
07/26/2015 VATICAN-SYRIA Pope: urgent appeal for the release of Fr. Dall'Oglio, kidnapped two years ago in Syria At the Angelus, Pope Francis recalls the Jesuit priest, the two Orthodox bishops and all those who have been kidnapped, calling on all present to join him in the recitation of a Hail Mary. Joined by the presence of two young people, he opens registration for WYD in Krakow and registers himself as teh first pilgrim online with a tablet. Commenting on today's Gospel: "Who among us does not have his" five loaves and two fish "? If we are willing to put them in the hands of the Lord, they will be a bit more love in the world to go around".
07/25/2015TURKEY Ankara unleashes air raids and arrests against Islamic jihadists and Kurdish militants by Sami Osman Jihadist bases in Syria and PKK locations in northern Iraq targeted. 320 people arrested in 22 provinces of Turkey. They include suspected Islamic state militants and Kurdish militants. Demonstration in Istanbul dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets. Mounting tensions ahead of tomorrow's a big demonsration "for peace" invoked by the Kurds.
07/24/2015CHINA Wenzhou: 90-year-old bishop and 26 priests protest against cross demolitions by Joseph Yuan This is not the first time that the old bishop and his priests speak out against the demolition campaign against crosses and churches, which has touched more than 400 buildings. During the protest, police tried to disperse the group, which sought to submit a petition. The faithful recite a Crown of the Divine Mercy is in support of the Chinese Church. In Lishui, churches are expected to be torn down by 31 August.
07/24/2015UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – ISLAM A new anti-discrimination law is a step forward in terms of religious freedom by Samir Khalil Samir A well-known Islam expert looks at a new law adopted by the United Arab Emirates that outlaws “all forms of discrimination based on religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin”. Equality is foreign to Islam. The new law punishes anyone who promotes “religious hate” or funds organisations that spread hatred. In the highly educated UAE, "Christians are treated well."
07/24/2015TURKEY Turkish fighter jets pound IS positions in Syria For the first time, Turkish planes crossed the border. At home, Turkish anti-terrorism police arrested 251 people after launching simultaneous raids against IS and Kurdish militants in 13 provinces, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
07/24/2015VATICAN - GREAT BRITAIN For the pope, euthanasia is what “mafiosi do. There is a problem: we get rid of this guy . . .” In his message to the Catholic Church in England and Wales for this year’s Day for Life, centred on the theme of ‘Cherishing Life and Accepting Death,’ Pope Francis said that “There is nothing progressive about solving problems by eliminating a human life." For him, “considering having a baby as a right is not a scientific achievement when the child should instead be welcomed as a gift; nor is it right to use humans as laboratory rats in order to save ostensibly others.”